Asics has called on Australian athletes Lisa Weightman and Jake Birtwhistle to test run its new Metaspeed range.
The shoe, which comes in two iterations, the Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge, has been designed to cater for two major running styles, stride runners and cadence runners.
Calling on long-distance runner Weightman and triathlete Birtwhistle, the business put the shoes to test before launch.
According to Asics, since trialling the new shoes, Weightman has achieved the fastest 10km time by an Australian woman on Australian soil.
"I love this shoe," Weightman said.
"The balance of cushioning and responsiveness is perfect, and the extra kick from the carbon plate really helps beat those personal bests," she said.
The design story behind the two new shoes centres on research conducted by scientists at the Asics Institute of Sport Science (ISS).
The researchers recognised that the type of shoes powering the world’s fastest were only favouring one type of runner – stride runners – those with a long-loping gait with large periods spent airborne who increase their speed by extending their stride length.
Asics' research showed that these shoes do not fully support elite athletes who prefer the second major running style – cadence, which features smaller steps made while hovering over the ground with minimal up and down motion.
Unlike stride runners, cadence runners increase their speed by both extending their stride length and increasing the number of steps they take per minute.
The sports scientists at the ISS were able to measure that athletes perform better when running in shoes that are optimised for their running style – hence creating Metaspeed Sky for stride runners and Metaspeed Edge for cadence runners.
Speaking on the launch, Asics president and COO, Yasuhito Hirota said that the pandemic firmed the brand's focus on creating athlete-centric products.
"At the heart of our philosophy is an unwavering belief in the power of human-centric design to create products that deliver the perfect balance of peak performance and protection for every kind of athlete.
"With the pandemic placing huge restrictions on competitive sport across the globe, this long-standing obsession of ours has become supercharged for 2021.
"This year's Innovation Summit and launch of Metaspeed stands as a symbol of our continued commitment to help elite athletes," he said.
The Metaspeed Sky will be available globally via the Asics website and selected specialty retail stores from today.
The Metaspeed Edge will be available from June 4, 2021.
Both shoes will retail for $330.00.